The winemaking life

Sun-drenched and protected by a quiet corner of the valley, the vineyards of the SCHMID WETLI Winery are nestled on the southern slopes of the villages of Berneck and Au, from where a vista opens up across the vast plain of the Rhine valley of St. Gallen. As if that were not enough, after acquiring the Lutz family winery in 2013, SCHMID WETLI is now able to pursue state-of-the-art winegrowing in Appenzell.

With a mixture of passion and determination, Kaspar Wetli Sr. and his sons make a vital contribution with their nearly 18 hectares of vineyards to preserving the culture of winegrowing. Vintage for vintage, this culture brings forth a variety of magnificent wines of the highest quality. It is a culture to which the Wetli family dedicates itself with heart and soul – and plenty of joy.

Grapes need time to ripen and develop their typical fruit note and characteristic colour. Only when the vintner senses that the grapes are ready will he harvest and press them, allowing them to mature in barrels made of native woods into the best of wines. A traditional operation like SCHMID WETLI also needs time – to look back on what has gone before and to look forward to the future. Winemaking requires sensitivity and the courage to innovate. By investing in the latest technology, the Wetlis have demonstrated both. Wine is time, because time makes the wine.

A great deal of passion and even more lifeblood go into making the wonderful product of wine, and loving attention to detail becomes more apparent with every sip. The process of winemaking places high demands on the vintner, in particular finely honed sensibilities, sensitivity and sure instincts. In other words: the grapes get exactly the same attention a woman desires.

The knowledge of this enhanced degree of empathy is one of the numerous and invaluable strengths of the winemakers’ wives. Susanne and Melanie support their husbands and sometimes have their backs, which are often loaded down with a basketful of grapes. With a great deal of charm, the women attend to sales, pouring customers a taste of the fine wines to put a smile on their faces.

The new and modern extension that now nestles up to the heritage building was the product of architectural skill as well as the client’s wish to unite proven traditions with modern innovation to create a coherent whole. So when guests now gather together in a festive mood, tradition is just as much a part of the celebration as is the homely ambience that can be found everywhere at the SCHMID WETLI Winery.

From a convivial wine tasting to a tour of the wine cellars during which the Wetlis offer personal insights into the winemaking life … from a wedding in the close family circle to a top-class customer event … from the inner courtyard that forms a link between old and new, to the small but elegant and above all contemporary tasting room, to the cosy wine bar: The Wetli family of winemakers knows just how to pamper guests with delectable wines and culinary delights from the best regional establishments.

SCHMID WETLI has always been a “family affair”. Founded in 1860 by Samuel Thurnheer and carried on by his son-in-law Jakob Schmid Sr., the winery passed into the hands of Jakob Schmid Jr. in 1970. He proceeded to consistently expand and modernise operations – together with Kaspar Wetli Sr. The latter and his wife, Susanne, have run SCHMID WETLI AG since 1994 with complete devotion to wine and viniculture. With Kaspar Jr., Matthias and Adrian, all of whom learned and studied oenology and viticulture from the ground up, the next generation is once more secured. What a joy it is that the three young winemakers have dedicated themselves to carrying forth the long-established family tradition of a love for wine.

A family business based on tradition – this, too, is a joy.